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12 Sep 2011 : Column WA39

12 Sep 2011 : Column WA39

Written Answers

Monday 12 September 2011

Bank of England


Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government await the findings of the Treasury Select Committee's inquiry into the accountability of the Bank of England and will respond to any recommendations in due course.



Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government look forward to receiving the Independent Commission on Banking's final report on 12 September and will then decide upon the appropriate course of action.

Banking: Northern Rock


Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In order to achieve the best value for the taxpayer, the Government are not providing commentary on the sales process and cannot comment on specific bids.

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Dr Charles Alessi


Asked by Baroness Thornton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The role of the NHS Future Forum was to listen to the views of as many people as possible about the Government's modernisation plans for the National Health Service, synthesise those views and make recommendations about how the legislation might be improved. The NHS Future Forum engaged with over 6,700 people at over 250 listening events, received 3,000 comments on the website, over 25,000 e-mails and 600 completed questionnaires. There was no requirement for any member of the NHS Future Forum to register their business and other interests when they became a member.

Asked by Baroness Thornton

Earl Howe: Dr Charles Alessi has, as part of a wider group, attended three meetings held by the Secretary of State. These were general round table discussions on the Health and Social Care Bill and as such there is no formal public record of the meetings.

Drugs: Pyridostigmine Bromide


Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In the community, pyridostigmine bromide is licensed for the treatment of myasthenia gravis, paralytic ileus and post-operative urinary retention. Based on this information, it would be expected that patients with any of these three medical conditions could receive the drug.

The recognised side-effects of a medicine are documented in its product information. This consists of a summary of product characteristics (SPC) for healthcare professionals and a patient information leaflet (PIL) which accompanies the medicine. The SPC and PIL for pyridostigmine are available to view online at:

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Reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are collected by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Commission for Human Medicines through the spontaneous reporting scheme; the yellow card scheme. The scheme collects ADR reports from across the whole United Kingdom and includes all medicines, including those from prescriptions, over-the-counter or general retail sales. Reports are also received for herbal medicines and other unlicensed medicines.

As of 6 September 2011, the MHRA has received a total of 29 UK spontaneous suspected ADR reports associated with pyridostigmine. These reports describe a total of 77 reactions, two of which had a fatal outcome. A complete listing of all UK spontaneous suspected ADR reports associated with pyridostigmine is available to view on our website at:

It should be noted that healthcare professionals and patients are asked to report suspected adverse reactions on a voluntary basis and the submission of a report does not mean that the reaction cited was definitely caused by the medicine. Many factors have to be taken into account in assessing causal relationships including temporal association, the possible contribution of concomitant medication and the underlying disease being treated.

Government Departments: Surveys


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Export Control Organisation customer satisfaction survey of 2010 was issued to a total of 1,618 individuals. Recipients included applicants for standard individual export licences, open general export licence holders, relevant trade associations, NGOs, and academics.

The survey is conducted on ad hoc, rather than annual, basis. There are currently no plans to issue a survey for 2011.

The results of the 2010 survey are already publicly available at:

We will arrange for copies of the 2010 survey, and future customer satisfaction surveys, to be made available in the Libraries of the House.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

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Baroness Wilcox: The UK Innovation Survey provides essential data on the types, and extent, of innovation within businesses across all regions in the UK. It is a valuable resource for understanding innovation, drivers and impacts. The data are of high quality with a very high response rate for a voluntary survey.

The data are used widely across government and academia for, among other things, the annual innovation report, international comparisons of innovation systems and evidence-based innovation policy. The last survey (UK IS 2009) found 58 per cent of firms engaged in some innovation activity during the three-year period 2006 to 2008. Recent research using the UK IS examined the distribution of innovation activity across UK industry and found innovation occurs within business sectors and regions not necessarily associated with innovative behaviour.

Reports on main findings and commissioned research are published on the BIS website.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Wilcox: This survey is carried out for UK Trade and Investment by an independent market research company which specialises in surveys of businesses. The two most recent waves of the survey were carried out by OMB Research, which also independently sourced the lists of companies which were contacted for the survey. A full description of the methodology used is provided in the report on the 2010 wave, which is available at the link below, under the title International Business Strategies, Barriers and Awareness Survey (2010) at:

The full report on the survey also includes extensive analysis of the data collected.

Health: GP Commissioning Groups


Asked by Baroness Thornton

12 Sep 2011 : Column WA43

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Every general practitioner (GP) practice will be a member of a clinical commissioning group (previously known as GP consortia). However, the role of clinical commissioning groups in commissioning healthcare for whom they are responsible, is distinct from the role of the general practice in providing services to its patients. GP practices, rather than clinical commissioning groups, are responsible for the registration of patients at their respective practice.

Clinical commissioning groups will be responsible for commissioning the majority of healthcare services. However, it will be the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board to commission primary medical care services.

Human Rights


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Since 1 January 2010, the European Court of Human Rights has found violations by the UK in 18 cases as set out in the following table:

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Case nameSubject

A. W. Khan v UK

Removal to Pakistan; right to family life

Gillan & Quinton v UK

Stop and search powers

Richard Anderson v UK

Length of proceedings

Al Saadoon & Mufdhi v UK

Detention of suspects in Iraq; jurisdiction of the ECHR

A.D. & O.D. v UK

Decisions to take children into care

M.A.K. and R.K. v UK

Decisions to take children into care

Allen v. UK

Attendance at bail hearing

Gift v UK

Early release scheme discriminating against prisoners serving long, fixed-term sentences

Kay and Others v UK

Summary possession of people's homes

S.H. v UK

Risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment (removal to Bhutan)

J.M. v UK

Discrimination against same-sex couples in relation to child maintenance payments; recognition of same-sex relationships as "family life"

Greens and MT v UK

Prisoner voting rights

McKay and BBC Scotland v UK

Inability to challenge a court order prohibiting reporting of a criminal trial

O'Donoghue and Others v UK

Permission to marry for those subject to immigration control (Certificate of Approval scheme)

M.G.N. Ltd v UK

Fees in defamation cases and freedom of expression

Sufi and Elmi v UK

Removal to Somalia

Al-Jedda v UK

Treatment of detainees and detention of suspects in Iraq; jurisdiction of the ECHR

Al Skeini & others v UK

Treatment of detainees and detention of suspects in Iraq; jurisdiction of the ECHR

The UK made a request for referral to the Grand Chamber in four cases: Gillan and Quinton; Greens and MT; Al Saadoon and Mufdhi; and Clift.

The Government do maintain a record of cases where the UK was judged to be in violation of the convention.

In addition to the cases listed above, since the start of 2010, the Grand Chamber has also found violations by the UK in the cases of Al-Jedda v UK and Al Skeini v UK. In these cases, a chamber of the European Court decided to relinquish jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber in accordance with Article 30 of the ECHR.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord McNally: When the UK takes over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe in November, the Government's top priority will be to deliver and build upon the ongoing reform process. The way the Court works is set out in the convention, so reform could involve changes to the convention if all 47 member states of the Council of Europe agree to it. The Commission on a UK Bill of Rights has given its interim advice on reform of the European Court, which the Government welcome.

There have already been 14 protocols amending the convention since it was originally drafted, many of them making procedural changes. There is no fixed period to effect a change to the convention, but historically such changes have taken several years to bring into force.

Identity Cards


Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): It is estimated that cancelling ID cards and the National Identity Register (NIR) will realise net savings of £86 million. The net cost of cancelling ID cards and the National Identity Register (NIR) was approximately £5 million.

A breakdown of the costs related to the cancellation of ID cards is provided in the Identity and Passport Service annual report and accounts 2010-11, an electronic version of which is available in the Identity and Passport Service section of the Home Office website at:

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Northern Ireland Office: Staff


Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The current Director-General of the Northern Ireland Office joined the department in December 2006 and took up her current post in April 2010 following the completion of devolution to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Her pension arrangements are determined by the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme of which she is a member. Sir Jonathan Phillips was also a member of the PCSPS.



Asked by Lord Rooker

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The UK Border Agency granted temporary admission to approximately 6,500 people at UK ports during the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.

When temporary admission is granted to a passenger the passport and any other travel documentation is retained. Documents are held securely until the case is resolved and then where appropriate returned to the rightful holder.

Police: Hire Cars


Asked by Lord Tyler

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The most recent and only data on vehicle hire expenditure held by the Home Office are for the financial year 2009-10, and have been sourced from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in the following table. These data cannot be split according to the purpose of the vehicle hire.

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ForceExpenditure on vehicle hire £000s

Avon & Somerset








City of London








Devon & Cornwall












Greater Manchester




















Metropolitan Police




North Wales


North Yorkshire








South Wales


South Yorkshire










Thames Valley




West Mercia


West Midlands


West Yorkshire






Questions for Written Answer


Asked by Lord Harris of Haringey

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): I respond to all Questions for Written Answer as promptly as possible. Responses can be delayed for many reasons which include ensuring that appropriate advice or information is sought.

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